It seems that Pope Francis defends Iraq trip because it is what makes him feel better after so long. The Pope states that it was an imprisonment feeling to stay in the Vatican and not travel elsewhere during the lockdown. So, he wants to defend his decision to travel despite being aware of the infection risks. Moreover, the Pope clearly states that he wants to ignore anyone who does not want to support his decision or is criticizing it.
Before the trip began, experts were already warning Pope Francis of unfortunate consequences. Therefore, he was very well aware that he could contract an infection or contribute to the communication due to traveling. Significantly, the fact that covid cases are increasing in Iraq was a significant problem. However, Pope Francis defends Iraq Trip now, saying that both he and his team underwent a proper vaccination process before leaving.
Pope Francis defends Iraq Trip despite criticism.
According to the National Catholic reporter, there were serious discussions regarding covid safety guidelines before the trip. The local organizers were assuring the Vatican team regarding mask mandates and social distancing. However, there were several instances during the trip when the crowd was coming too close to the Pope. Plus, there is enough proof to state that masks were not in enough quantity during a few gatherings.
Before the Iraq trip, Pope Francis was there in the Vatican for over 15 months, becoming depressing for him. The Pope says that it was a feeling of being in prison, and this trip makes him feel that he has come back to life. During his Iraq tour, Pope Francis went across six cities to promote Christian-Muslim dialogue. He wants to encourage the Christian community to stay in that country. On Saturday, March 6, 2021, the Pope meets Iraq’s principal Shiite Muslim Cleric, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. President Joe Biden is all praises for the Pope after this significant event.
President Joe Biden is very pleased with the Pope’s latest travels.
In a statement, President Biden says that he is delighted to see Pope Francis visit such ancient places. For example, visiting Abraham’s birthplace was a commendable decision. He is also pleased to learn about the meeting between the Pope and the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani during prayer offerings in Mosul. It is great to see a city that is finally standing against ISIS activities after enduring a lot of depravity. Overall, it brings a ray of hope for the rest of the world too.
On the other hand, a group of people criticizes the Pope’s decision to visit Iraq and his purpose too. According to this group, the initiative of bringing the Muslim and Christian communities close to each other is equal to betraying one’s faith. However, Pope Francis defends Iraq Trip and is stern about his decision. He believes that there is nothing wrong with connecting with followers of other religions too.
The Pope says that he is aware that some people are calling his decision unconscious rather than courageous. Such people believe that he is going against the Catholic Doctrine and is just a little away from committing a religious crime. However, the Pope defends such thoughts stating that his decision was risky, but there are many prayers that go into such decisions.